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Watch and wager at the Jockey Club!

Great seating, delicious food and serious horse racing all month. Enjoy live thoroughbred horse racing from the best tracks in the U.S. and beyond in our comfy club with more than 100 big screens & TVs. In addition to heart-pounding racing excitement, we offer parties, specials, giveaways & much more!

Race Schedule & Details

Located at 1450 Bennett Valley Road in Santa Rosa - (707) 524-6340

2016 $1,000,000 Travers Stakes

Travers Stakes

This Saturday, August 27, is Saratoga's $1,000,000 Travers Stakes! 3-Year-Old horses compete over 1 1/4 miles. Be at the Jockey Club to watch and wager. Doors open at 8:20 am. Admission is $3 (or $6 for the Turf Club). Post time is 2:40 PM local time.

Saratoga Race Course-Race 11-$1,000,000 Travers Stakes

Analysis by Michael Patricks

1 ¼ Miles on Dirt – 3 Y/O

Fourteen of the best sophomores in the Country will line up to do battle in the 147th renewal of the Travers Stakes on Saturday, racing’s Mid-Summer classic. Preakness Stakes and Haskell winner Exaggerator will headline the feature race in what is shaping up to be a compelling affair in both form and substance. Who will emerge at the top of the lane late Saturday afternoon as the setting sun descends against the backdrop of bucolic Saratoga Springs’ deep-crimson sky? Let’s analyze the relative chances for the entire cast set to go forward on Saturday:

Arrogate

Post Position #1
Morning Line Odds: 10/1
Been able to live up to his name somewhat in much softer Allowance spots in southern California after smashing a small field in garnering his diploma. If he is to “arrogate victory” on Saturday in the Travers, he will have to take it with incredible justification. One of two for hall-of-fame trainer Bob Baffert, Arrogate arrives in Saratoga Springs in extremely sharp form, yet the waters are certainly much deeper today. When young horses like Arrogate get it going, the sky is the only limit to their infinite possibility. That being said, he was defeating smaller fields and dominating a much softer talent pool in southern California and he loses his preferred pilot to American Freedom today. Unlike his other Summer efforts, there will be plenty of straw in Arrogate’s path on Saturday--but taking Bob Baffert at 10/1 in a Grade I race with fellow hall-of-fame rider Mike Smith doing the steering should provide plenty of confidence for those who stick in his camp; x-factor provides upset potential and is the pick.

American Freedom

Post Position #2
Morning Line Odds: 6/1
Grudgingly run down by race-favorite Exaggerator in the Haskell, American Freedom showed himself to be more than Iowa’s pretty boy victor from his race prior where he blew out his competition in the Iowa Derby. Like most Baffert runners, ‘Freedom has done his best work by being forwardly placed and it’s worth noting that Baffert sheds blinkers today in an effort to try and get this guy to relax a bit up on the front end. The worktab is Baffert-like in terms of being both sharp and steady. ‘Freedom continues to improve each race but this will be the real acid test for him today, as it will be for all these runners. Can he withstand a strong crush of pressure from his outside all the way around the track and have enough left to fend off Exaggerator and Creator in the lane? That mental picture appears a bit murky and until this one can continually demonstrate an ability to pass horses in the lane, I am going to be taking a stand against him at the odds; expected pace casualty.

My Man Sam

Post Position #3
Morning Line Odds: 20/1
Best known for scouting more ground than Lewis and Clark in the Toyota Blue Grass from the 14-hole on his way to an inspiring second-place performance, My Man Sam shows up Saturday looking for his elusive second lifetime victory. Hailing from the expert tutelage of trainer Chad Brown, My Man Sam is a completely pace-dependent runner who will be closing from the parking lot next to Union Avenue and will be hoping that the splits are kamikaze-like and that other more proven late runners do not fire their best shot. It’s difficult crafting a winning scenario for My Man Sam from the creative vortex of my mind and so long as one is in a completely lucid mental state at post time, they would be best-served in demanding at least 50/1 before endorsing him as a win bet on Saturday; greets the cameraman only if the tide is just right and the gravitational pull of the earth cracks open the moon’s lunar crust.

Governor Malibu

Post Position #4
Morning Line Odds: 12/1
Has played best man twice in graduation ceremonies and more recently played best man twice in Grade II company. His trainer Christophe Clement is a legend on the East Coast and you can never dismiss his runners out of a hat. Governor Malibu belongs here and should be in the hunt, but his killer instinct appears to be lacking. A deeper dive into his past performances yields the immutable reality that he only has two lifetime victories from nine starts and both of those came against New York-breds in Stake races. ‘Malibu appeared to be poised to pounce in the Belmont Stakes at the top of the lane but ran into some trouble and was out finished by open lengths for the top placings. His Jim Dandy effort was “okay” but he couldn’t close ground on 27/1 then maiden Laoban, who will most certainly have his hands full here in the Travers; can see him hitting the board, but can’t see him with a bed of flowers around his neck Saturday.

Forever d’Oro

Post Position #5
Morning Line Odds: 30/1
Crushed like a twig when beaten forever and a day in the Belmont Stakes at 65/1, his only try against graded company. Another runner who is still eligible for the first Allowance condition, this runner ran evenly here in a minor Stakes event about a month ago and simply needs to do much more. The pedigree top to bottom on him says yes, but his running lines are telling you no. It’s quite reasonable to expect he can pass a couple tired ones late, but forecasting anything better than an “also ran” running line for him on Saturday may get you admitted into a psych ward for further evaluation; pass.

Anaximandros

Post Position #6
Morning Line Odds: 50/1
“Anaximandros of Miletos suggested that thunder is due not to Zeus, but to wind; similarly, lightning arises from the splitting of a cloud. Like Thales, Anaximandros of Miletos rejected the anthropomorphic Olympian gods in favor of an impersonal and monistic conception of divinity -- that everything is One. But unlike Thales, Anaximandros rejected water as the ultimate principle of all things.” (History of Science Online-kvmagruder.net) That historical anecdote should prove to be a whole lot more memorable than his performance figures to be here on Saturday. These connections have been able to pull of high-priced heists in the past but on paper he appears outmatched and after being ridden somewhat bizarrely and vigorously around Mountaineer Park in the seven-path on his way to a seventh place finish in the West Virginia Derby, clouds are in his forecast for sure. I’d rather try rolling another seven in Vegas playing Craps than rely on him to come up for you in this spot; bringing a knife to a gun fight on Saturday.

Exaggerator

Post Position #7
Morning Line Odds: 3/1
Deserved favorite has as many wins to his credit as the four animals signed on to his inside do combined. Son of Curlin will try to seal his case for 3 year-old of the year with another winning performance here in the Travers. True indeed is that Exaggerator’s biggest efforts have come on a sloppy track, however, this horse has run well over just about any surface and he also sports a win over the track in last year’s Saratoga Special as a 2 year-old. The pace once again seems to be lively and Desormeaux will no doubt try to scout a path home from the ½ mile pole home and keep him in the clear and outside as much potential trouble possible. Expect Exaggerator to come calling in the lane and he’s the one to deny late. The price will be a bit short given a full field signed on, yet with clear sailing in the stretch it’s unquestionably his race to lose; major player.

Destin

Post Position #8
Morning Line Odds: 10/1
America watched him run his heart out only to be narrowly vanquished by Creator on the wire as the two greys fought it out in the Belmont Stakes back in June. Destin was subsequently freshened up for the Jim Dandy and ran an even third behind Laboan, who as mentioned earlier got away with a relaxed, open-length lead on his way to victory. Destin figures to get first crack on any rabbits who want to go to the front and should be in a well-placed, prominent, forward position early on that should give him every chance at running a big race here. Destin’s Belmont was in a similar second start off a brief layoff and he ran big in that spot after a relatively listless Kentucky Derby effort. Strangely enough, though he couldn’t stall Creator in the 12-furlong Belmont, adding the extra furlong here on Saturday may give him the perfect sweet spot in terms of distance to fire his peak performance. Pletcher has one bullet to fire here; beware.

Gift Box

Post Position #9
Morning Line Odds: 12/1
Ridgling son of Twirling Candy, Gift Box is another who comes from young trainer Chad Brown, who just Wednesday earned his 1,000th career victory. Gift Box was even money in the Curlin here at Saratoga and chased stable mate Connect around the track and finished second to him last time. Gift Box is always well backed at the windows and is certainly one who is well thought of from the Chad Brown barn. The price will rise on him Saturday with this big step up the class ladder and it’s noteworthy to mention the only pilot he’s ever known defects for Destin right next door. Sometimes when horses aren’t expected to do as much they fire their best shot, compared to feeling the pressure of chalk players increased desperation and champagne-like expectations as the day’s card goes along. The pace should be contentious and he’ll likely be forgotten about on the tote-board this time around; a must-use in your vertical wagers.

Connect

Post Position #10
Morning Line Odds: 4/1
Chad Brown’s third and final charge in the Travers could give him his best shot at winning this race for the first time. Connect likes to be forwardly placed and with his outside draw you can fully expect him to be put into the race early. Connect is getting better with each and every race and being installed as second choice on the morning line makes a lot of sense here. Like most, Connect is used to running in small to mid-size fields and it will be interesting to see how he handles the atmosphere and commotion that goes with a 14-horse starting gate on Saturday. If Connect is hell-bent on getting to the lead in the Travers, Laoban will certainly make him work for it and finding his inner-peace up the backstretch will be a tough ask. Connect has shown that he can stalk and pounce in recent races past and he may need to invoke that strategy here to “Connect Four” straight wins Saturday in the Travers. This is the furthest that Connect has ever traveled and we will find out what he’s made of in the final furlong; fresh and formidable.

Majesto

Post Position #11
Morning Line Odds: 30/1
Raised eyebrows in the Florida Derby when he chased home Nyquist and soundly defeated Mohaymen at 21/1. Then Majesto was summarily dispatched at 56/1 in the Kentucky Derby before being laid up for his Summer campaign at Saratoga. Majesto’s comeback race in the Curlin was truly uninspiring and it leaves very little room for optimism on Saturday. Beating one horse home at 7/1 for a purse that is one tenth of today’s race in value is not a natural springboard to success--and while it is true horses often need a race off the shelf, this horse realistically needs a confidence booster in the form of softer competition. Expect more like 60 to 1 odds at post time and even then you’re not tempting me in the slightest; will fall out of my chair if Majesto gets there on Saturday.

Creator

Post Position #12
Morning Line Odds: 15/1
Belmont winner ran like he needed a race in the Jim Dandy. Laoban took them gate to wire while setting slow fractions and Creator was unable to make much of an impact as a result. Viewing the Jim Dandy as a nine furlong workout is probably a wise move given the fact that his trainer Steve Asmussen has put three more works into Creator to get him tight for Saturday’s Travers. Creator has come up big in big races before and in terms of his running lines he seems to be a bit of a zigzag type in that he fires his good races every other time out. His price will be solid and if they go too fast early that will only increase this one’s chances for success on Saturday. Creator is at the mercy of the rest of the field to put him in a position to succeed, but often times a full starting gate and cacophonous racing atmosphere can get horses over-amped and take them out of their games; Creator would love nothing more than to see that here on Saturday. Creator will be following Exaggerator through the stretch at a price; best chance play.

Laoban

Post Position #13
Morning Line Odds: 15/1
Shocked the world at 27/1 last time in earning his diploma against Grade II runners by winning the Jim Dandy. Laoban has faced quality competition in his career and it shouldn’t be shocking that in a compact field like the Jim Dandy that he was able to set some relaxing splits up front and have enough left in the lane to achieve victory. This will not be a walk in the park on Saturday. Off his last performance, the other riders will not let Laoban stroll to the lead and walk the dog on the front end as was the case last time. With a wide draw, one would expect Jose Ortiz to quarter horse him to the lead straight out of the gate or risk being hung out on a limb throughout. There are also quality speed types to his inside in American Freedom and Connect both being signed on and it should be readily apparent at the ½ mile pole on Saturday that Laoban is running with the big dogs in this one. As I’m often one to say: if you missed the wedding at 27/1 last time, do you want to go to the funeral at half the price today? I doubt it; pass.

Gun Runner

Post Position #14
Morning Line Odds: 10/1
Handsome chestnut son of Candy Ride draws from the grandstand near the popcorn vendor and will have his hands full carving out a workable trip from his post. Gun Runner was largely overlooked in Louisiana this year and benefitted from his primary opposition having traffic woes while he pounced on his opportunities for success. His third place finish in the Kentucky Derby was obviously his most memorable performance, but Exaggerator had no problem running right by him despite traffic problems after moving into a moderate tempo carved out by Nyquist and company. Truth is that Gun Runner is 0 for 2 against Exaggerator and with each passing race it becomes more evident the gap between them is only growing larger. Creator is a tempting swing at 15/1, yet the same cannot be said in my estimation for Gun Runner at 10/1 in the Travers; demand better than his morning line price if you insist on including him in your plans.

Jockey Club Regular Hours & Admission

REGULAR HOURS

  • 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Thursday
  • 10:00 am - 11:30 pm, Friday - Sunday
  • Closed Monday - Wednesday

REGULAR ADMISSION

  • FREE, Thursday & Friday (except special event days)
  • $3, Saturday & Sunday (FREE after 6:00 PM)

PARKING

  • FREE most of the year, $8 during the Fair

Located at 1450 Bennett Valley Road in Santa Rosa - (707) 524-6340

Relax in the Turf Club

Turf Club

Enjoy a VIP experience at the Jockey Club. The Turf Club offers table side service so that you can stay focused on the race. Beat the lines and make your Turf Club reservation today. Call the Jockey Club at 524-6340 for availability.

ADMISSION

$3 Regular Admission
$15 Special Event Admission

Learn How to Wager & Win

Never played the ponies? No Problem! Our pari-mutuels are available at all times to assist you with your wager. Plus, watch for free racing seminars to be held on our special event race days.

Beginner's Guide to Racing

Food & Drinks

In between races enjoy the snack bar & full bar.
On the weekends, the Turf Club features Big Boys BBQ.

Big Boy's Bar-B-Que Menu


Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds
1350 Bennett Valley Road - Santa Rosa, CA 95404
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